Deccan Chronicle

For a ballerina's bod

Deccan Chronicle.| Swati Sharma

Published on: January 8, 2022 | Updated on: January 8, 2022

Ballet-inspired workouts are a great way of improving flexibility and muscle mass while also keeping the mind healthy

Hand Stand, This routine is a form of physical exercise inspired from classical ballet. (DC FIle)

Hand Stand, This routine is a form of physical exercise inspired from classical ballet. (DC FIle)

"I have to keep moving, because when you get older, it’s more critical than when you’re young that you keep your body moving," says Hollywood legend and ballet enthusiast Jane Fonda. "If I don’t [keep moving], not only does my body begin to deteriorate, but so does my mind, and I know that I need those endorphins," she added, posting a workout video on Instagram.

Fonda’s ballet-inspired classic routine is back under the spotlight and is being hailed for standing the test of time.

Ballet-inspired workouts are a great way to develop a lean muscle mass while improving balance, flexibility and range of motion.  

"When I go to the ballet, I am always in awe of the dancers’ bodies as much as I am of the beauty they express through movement: The definition in their arms, their strong legs, and the length that extends from their fingertips to their toes," the Black Swan actress Natalie Portman posted on Insta.

These low-impact exercises are easy on joints and also strengthen muscles to prevent injury.

"As one crosses 40, muscles start to lose strength, making it more necessary to have a regular and disciplined fitness routine. The ideal exercise regime should have a mix of toning, strength training and a cardio workout which will result in both, fat loss as well as increasing fitness levels," says Reema Sarin, Founder BollyFit. "Exercise also releases endorphins or ‘happy hormones’ which keeps the mind happy and healthy," she adds.

Fitness is not just about cutting down fat but more a way of being and living. "It’s a lifestyle. Conditions such as insulin sensitivity, heart health, and body composition have all been found to improve with regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle. It can even help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the chance of developing chronic diseases. When people start taking care of their health, they automatically function in a way that builds a harmonious relationship between the mind, body, and soul, points out Shruti Sethi, Fitness Creator at Trell.

Stressing the importance of paying attention to technique, alignment, and posture, Shruti says, "These are highly emphasized in ballet-inspired workouts. Ballet makes extensive use of balance, which is essential for your core activation. Learning ballet workouts is similar to learning a new language: it takes time, but perseverance and patience will pay off."

The Bridge
This exercise targets the inner thighs, back of the legs, core and butt with the aim of creating a ballerina's body.

- Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Straighten your right leg, toes pointed up toward the ceiling. Keep your stomach pulled in tight as you lift your hips off the floor, trying to keep your knees together. Lower your hips and then lift again.
- Complete 30 reps with one leg and then repeat on the other side.

A tight, toned butt can help prevent injury.

- Start on all fours.  Bring one knee into your chest and then extend the leg straight back into arabesque, keeping the knee straight. Pull in through your stomach and lift your leg high toward the ceiling. Repeat 30 times, and then change legs.

Arm Toner
Toned arms are classic qualities of a ballerina’s upper body.

- Sit on the mat with your legs extended straight out in front of you and hands just behind your hips, fingers facing out. Lift your hips up off the mat as you stretch the elbows, keeping the chest open and the neck long. Pull the stomach in tight and bend the elbows slightly. Lift your hips by bending and stretching the elbows, keeping the stomach strong. Repeat 30 times.

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